How do I make a projectile follow a path?


Trying to animate like 30 different laser bolts so I don’t want to do them all frame by frame, is there a faster way than that?


hello !

it depends clearly on the case… a slightly less painful way of doing this would be :
1/ to animate one lazer that goes horizontally throughout the whole screen.
2/ loop the animation by repeating his animation curves
3/ add a transform node with the pivot point set at were the ‘horizontal’ lazer starts
4/ animate with translate and rotate the transform node to match the gun moves.
5/ merge the lazer over the background.

I can’t see at the moment a simplest way of doing this, and maybe that doesn’t work that well in your case.
You can show us an image of the shot, or the animation so we can have a less theoretical look a it.

Also if you know how you’ll have done this in another software that can help us better to translate that into natron.

Good luck !


Heres one of the scenes I’m trying to animate. I think I understand what you mean though.


Cool ! that look like a fun project !

The method that I described should work, I can be even simpler because from what I see all the lazers will go horizontally
So you can skip the point 4 and maybe the 3.

The time consuming step can be to synchronize perfectly the lazers with the guns. But maybe you can have some not so well synchronized lazers for the guy in the front. Because he move quite fast, maybe with sound and a kind of light / science-fiction muzzle flash effect you can sell the effect without having lazers perfectly matching the guys moves.

For the guy in the background , as he move much maybe you need to synchronize the lazers better.

I’ll see if I found time to make a quick test project from your video to see if I’m right and I’ll send you the files then.
maybe with some animated time offset nodes the looping can be done without too much trouble.



I’ve tried to see if I give good advice or not, and as it’s generally the case things are way simpler in theory :smiley:
You can find the project I’ve made in the .zip file, I’ve added many comments so (I hope) you can get a clear idea of how this work. (4.4 MB)

The idea stay the same, do one lazer animation then do some loop , and finally use a transform node to put them in place.

I’ve used some time offset nodes , I thought they can be animated but in fact it’s not possible, so in the end there are many of them.

You’ll see that finally for a “simple” effect we quickly go into a little nodal mess, and that technique may be not very straightforward for a beginner . It can be simpler but you’ll have to make much more animation. In the other hand doing this more procedurally also takes time, but that’s maybe more suited to be reused or modified.

Finally the lazers are not perfectly synchronized with the guns , but I think it still work !

For this effect it may be simpler to use a layer based software like after effect, in the other hand , nodal compositing can be quite effective in other cases, so it’s a balance, maybe next time we’ll have more luck solving your issues :smiley:


Dont need this effect, but by looking on your comp I learned some new things, like the offset node.
So, thanks a lot. :slight_smile:


Cool ! I’m glad all this can help !


By re-looking at the project, it looks like the last effect is broken in full res :disappointed_relieved:
you can uncheck (Un)premult on the nodes Grade3 and Clamp1 to fix it, this smell like a bug